Thanksgiving may be next week, but the city is starting to erupt in silver bells! Santa arrives downtown with great fanfare, Waterfront Partnership is throwing their second annual Winter Wonderland bash {we’ll be there with a super cool photo booth!}, imagination festival at Enoch Pratt and so much more. Here are our top picks for fam-friendly fun this weekend:

$2 Target Family Fun Night at Port Discovery
Play at Port Discovery tonight for just $2! Don’t miss their new ancient Greece exhibit and burn some energy off climbing the giant tree house. General Admission is just $2 per person from 4pm – 7pm. Tickets must be purchased at the door. Tickets cannot be purchased in advance and cannot be combined with any other discounts or coupons. MORE INFO

Imagination Celebration at Pratt Central Library
Join the Pratt staff at the Central Library Branch for an entire day of celebrating the imagination through storytelling and story making! Stop by and visit with our local community friends from the Walters Art Museum, the Maryland Zoo, and more. At 12:00 there will be a special performance by renowned storyteller and children’s book author Dylan Pritchett.  Saturday from 10 AM to 2:30 PM. MORE INFO

War of 1812 Commemorative Tree Planting Day
To commemorate the Bicentennial of the War of 1812, the Parks & People Foundation, Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks, and the Friends of Patterson Park volunteers with funding support from CSX, are planting 200 trees in Patterson Park over the next 3 years. The official kick-off of this ambitious tree planting endeavor will include the planting of the first 50 trees on Saturday from 9 AM – 1 PM. Want to volunteer? GREAT! MORE INFO

Hansel and Gretel: A Fairy Tale Opera for Kids of ALL Ages
Here’s how the story goes…The children, Hansel and Gretel, are sent into the woods to gather strawberries after their mother finds them playing instead of working. They lose their way in the forest and fall asleep and in the morning they come upon a witch’s gingerbread house. The witch locks up Hansel and forces Gretel to work for her, but the children trick the witch, push her into the oven and thereby free all the children who had been turned into gingerbread. Hosted by Opera at Morgan. Performances at 2 PM and 8 PM on Saturday. MORE INFO

Winter Wonderland at West Shore Park
Holiday festivities return to the Waterfront for the 2nd Annual Waterfront Partnership Winter Wonderland at West Shore Park on Saturday from 3 PM – 5:30 PM! Take a ride on a trackless train or reindeer “pony.” Ornament making, gingerbread cookie decorating, snowflake juggling balls, face painting, homemade holiday cards, and ‘elf’ yourself at the (cool) progeny photo booth — all under a heated tent. Join Charm City Movement for a magical journey through the winter solstice complete with wire walking, acrobatics, and juggling. Harborplace will have a craft tent where the whole family can make a free lighted craft that you and your family can carry while marching in the Holiday Parade (while supplies last). The Harborplace Holiday Craft Tent will open at 1 PM and the rest of the activities will begin at 3:00 PM. All activities are at West Shore Park. MORE INFO

2nd Annual Holiday Parade
Join the merriment and take part in the second annual Holiday Parade along the Inner Harbor’s promenade. Festive crafts, cascading ribbon trees, towering umbrellas, bands, illuminated stilt walkers and costumed characters will come together as Santa makes his way to his home at Harborplace! PARADE ROUTE: West Shore Park to Harborplace Amphitheater. MORE INFO

2012 Power Plant Holiday Light Show Kick-Off
One of the Waterfront’s most electrifying attractions – you won’t want to miss this year’s show featuring live flame effects reaching over 20 feet high, winter snow, fireworks at every show, and more! Kicks off this Saturday with shows at 7 PM, 8 PM and 9 PM. MORE INFO

Zoo Zoom 2012
Run with the animals! It’s your chance to join in the wild fun as Baltimore’s wildest race returns for another year. Join us for a challenging 8K course through the Zoo or choose the tame 1-mile family walk and kids fun run. Registration is required and this event is expected to sell out quickly. Space is still available in the 1 mile Family Walk! The Zoom happens Sunday morning. MORE INFO

BIG Day at the Baltimore Museum of ART
It’s a big day at the BMA with the reopening of the Contemporary Wing on Sunday! Join the BMA for a day of big fun — from 11 AM – 5 PM on Sunday. Enjoy live performances and demonstrations, art-making activities, and new in-gallery discoveries. Watch an exciting musical performance featuring instruments made from recycled materials. Be wowed by aspiring artists during poetry readings and a fashion show. See how artists influence science and design at robotics and hat-making demonstrations. And create your very own masterpieces—hats, kaleidoscopes, and instruments—during art-making workshops. MORE INFO

Tellabration at Irvine Nature Center
TELLABRATION! brings together the world’s most celebrated storytellers, to delight, captivate and mesmerize audiences with their tales. Guilds and storytelling enthusiasts all around the globe will share their storytelling talents in concerts held in cities and towns to celebrate the art of storytelling. Irvine is proud to host some of Baltimore’s own great storytellers in cooperation with the Baltimore Folk Music Society. A separate children’s story room will be open all day. All ages. Sunday from 2 PM – 5 PM. MORE INFO

Sabbath Tales
Two Museums, two cultures, one special day of tasting, telling stories and sharing traditions. Foodways specialist, Dr. Mary Zajac, and acclaimed storyteller, Diane Macklin, will facilitate discussions about the preparation and presentation of Sabbath tables in the Jewish and African American traditions through interactive dialogue and discussion with the audience. This event will begin at the Jewish Museum of Maryland, with traditional foods of Shabbat, and conclude at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture, with traditional foods associated with Sunday dinner. Happens Sunday afternoon and registration is required. MORE INFO

Sunday Experiments for Kids at NASA
The Sunday Experiment features activities showcasing Goddard’s world-renowned science and engineering research and technological developments. Families leave inspired by the activities, wowed by the scientists and engineers, and excited about Goddard’s revolutionary research and technology. Ages 5-17. Sunday from 1PM – 3 PM. MORE INFO

 

IMAGE CREDIT: Baltimore Museum of Art Facebook Page, part of the new Contemporary Wing